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Das härteste Nonstop-Wüsten-Rennen der Welt       
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Wenn 431 Teams starten, aber nur 231 das Ziel erreichen, dann kann man bestimmt nicht von einer Spazierfahrt reden. Tatsächlich handelt es sich bei der Baja California 1000 um eines der anspruchvollsten Nonstop-Wüstenrennen der Welt für Autos und Motorräder. 1047 Meilen sind zu fahren – der absolute Wahnsinn.

Früh aufstehen müssen die Motorrad-Piloten. Unter ihnen die fünf US-Fahrer Beau Hayden, Ron Bishop, Chuck Dempsey, Tony Megla und Peter Postel, die mit einer 105 PS starken HP2 Enduro für das BMW Motorrad Team Offroad starten.

Das Rennen wurde um 6 Uhr morgens in Ensenada an der Atlantikküste gestartet, und Beau Hayden war der erste Teamfahrer, der den Gashahn der HP2 aufdrehte. Mit dem typischen heiseren Röhren des Boxers verschwand er im Morgennebel, um nach 215 Meilen den Staffelstab an den zweiten Teamfahrer zu übergeben.

Die Fahrer geben alles. Mit einem Gesamtschnitt von 42 Meilen die Stunde kämpft sich das Team durch hüfttiefe Wasserdurchfahrten, durch enge, endlose Schotterpisten, über Dünen, durch Geröllfelder, knietiefen Sand und stockdunkle Nacht. Schnelle Passagen in ausgetrockneten Flussbetten wechseln ab mit abenteuerlichen Sandpisten durch Kakteenwälder. Die Baja hält ständig Überraschungen bereit, die über Durchkommen oder Scheitern entscheiden.

Trotz zahlreicher Gefahren wie Viehherden, Wildwechsel, vom letzten Hurrican weggewaschene Pistenabschnitte erreichte das Team, nach 24 Stunden im Sattel erschöpft, aber glücklich die Ziellinie in La Paz. Das reicht für den 14. Platz im Gesamtklassement in der Motorradkategorie und für Rang 6 in der Professional Class. Als maximale Fahrzeit sind 43 Stunden vorgegeben.

In diesem harten Rennen, in dem das Ankommen an sich schon einen Sieg bedeutet, zeigt sich umso mehr der sportliche Stellenwert dieses Ergebnisses. Die 13 Motorräder, die sich vor der HP2 platzierten waren ausnahmslos leichte Maschinen mit maximal 650 ccm Hubraum.

Lesen Sie in der Originalfassung, wie die Fahrer Beau Hayden, Chuck Dempsey und Tony Megla die Baja erlebt haben:


Beau Hayden

I rode the HP2 from the start in Ensenada approximately 215 miles to 300 feet prior to checkpoint 3, just north of Puertocitos. I started the 22nd bike off the starting line of 26 open pro entries. There was no wind (very thick dust) and the sun was in my eyes for the first 40 miles of the race. The dust rarely let up during my stint on the bike. My ride was fairly uneventful as I concentrated hard on not making mistakes or misjudgments in the dust.The bike worked flawlessly and I steadily moved forward through the pack.

At one point we had moved up to approximately 6th overall around Valle de Trinidad. My highlite of the day was crossing El Diablo dry lake where I could open up the bike & let her run. It was a tight race up to this point where I would get passed in the very rough areas of the course (big bumps & whoops) & I would blow back by them in the faster sections. We did a tire change @ pit 3 (race mile 185), 3 or 4 riders passed me there. We didn't feel the tire change was necessary, but it was scheduled so we did it. A few riders passed me during the whoop/rock section prior to checkpoint 3 and I handed the bike to Ron in 10 place overall.

I very much enjoyed racing the BMW and truly appreciate the strong efforts put forth by BMW, my teammates & Baja Bound. I hope this program continues as I feel with more time on the bike & corrections from lessons learned, our results are sure to continue to improve. I'm sorry I don't have more photos to share at this time. But the BMW certainly drew its share of attention at Tech/Contengency and the start line as people were constantly surrounding the bike & I, and asking many questions.


Chuck Dempsey

Hello everyone, I was the third rider and I rode from RM 323 to RM 550. Ron Bishop brought me the bike in 24th position and I made the choice to do both wheel changes. Thanks to the BMW main man Klaus and front man for Baja bound Jim Tripp we did the tires as fast as possible. I was going to ride a safe as possible in the whoops because they were pretty big and sandy right off the start of my section. I wanted to save the bike to when I got to the fast roads. I realized that the suspension was way to soft for me and I had to stop in a pit and turn 4 clicks stiffer on the compression. It was better, but not quite what I wanted and I stopped again and went in another 4 clicks an it was awesome compared to where I started.

This was my 21st year racing in the pro class down in Baja. I am 36 years old and I'd have to say that was the fastest bike I have ever ridden in my life. I started passing guys right off the bat which surprised me and when I got on the roads it was like taking candy from a baby. I passed them like the were tied up. The middle of my section was fast, but the last 20 miles was tight rocking which I knew I had to get there as fast as possible before all the guys were going to get me back and we were heading into the dark. So I turned on the light and it lit up for about 3 seconds then turned off. That’s when I knew I was in trouble because Baja dark is black out when there is no moon. So I just rode as fast as I could until I couldn't see much in front of me.

That was a handful on the BMW when you can't even see your own fender. And that’s when everybody started passing me back. I even tried riding next to other riders, but they were not happy with that since I just passed them earlier in the race. So about 7 miles from HWY 1 I saw a group of 30 or so Mexican locals standing and drinking many beers watching the race so I pulled up to them and grabbed there flashlight right out of there hand and took off (so I owe them a flashlight). I started to ride holding a flashlight with the clutch hand and that was much better then what I had, nothing. I was so happy to see my BMW team waiting for me at HWY 1.

It seemed like I rode 50 miles that night with no light. Klaus was so happy to see me he cheered for me like I was Ricky Carmichael pulling into the pits. From there we jumped on HWY 1 and I rode behind the truck of Klaus and Jim with no lights to RM 550 where Tony was waiting for us with new lights and a better place for us to work on the bike. We did another 2 wheel changes and new race lights were installed on the bike and Tony took off to complete his section.

I want to say thanks to BMW, Baja bound for giving me the opportunity to race with them and taking care of all the logistics and financial it takes to do the race. I also want to say a special thanks to Jen Morton, Tim Morton, Kenny Hayden, Klaus, Jim Tripp, and the entire race team, Beu Hayden, Ron Bishop, Tony Magla, and Peter Postel that put there lives on the line the whole entire race. Great job and hope to see you again at the races.

PS: Everyone loved the BMW HP2 everywhere I went with the bike in the states and especially in Mexico.


Tony Megla

I was the rider of the HP2 from San Ignacio (mile554) to Loreto (mile 776) and from Insurgentes (mile 855) to Checkpoint 9 (mile 943). Pete explained why I rode this section of course. In San Ignacio the bike showed up late because of a blown headlight fuse in the wiring harness. We expected the bike about 4:00 and it made it in about 6:30. This is the pit where we were to change the stock headlight with the Baja lights. Lucky for me Jim (Baja Bound) and Klaus (HPN) showed up at the same time to help find the fuse and change all the parts. I left San Ignacio about 6:45 and concentrated on making up as much time as possible. We had dropped back to an estimated 38th overall. The course from here was fast graded roads, sandy roads and tidal flats with a few muddy spots on the Pacific coast before it turned inland to the town of La Purisma.

From La Purisma it was a lot of old washed out rocky roads to the Gulf side of the course. The last 60 miles into Loreto was the toughest part of my section of course. Some parts were brand new road freshly cut just for the race. It was twisty, tight and technical with a lot of sand washes and rocks. 1st and 2nd gear for long sections. I passed about 8 riders and 3 that with broken bikes in this section and had a trouble free ride. I arrived in Loreto at approximately 11:45 PM. I than jumped in our chase truck and drove to Insurgentes for the next section. When Pete arrived he was completely soaked from from the all the water crossings. I got back on the bike about 2:30.

In this last section I made a wrong turn when the locals took down the course markings and I went about 5 miles off course. Once I was back on track there was miles and miles of deep, deep silt. The ruts in the road filled in with the silt and the road looked hard until the bike just drops out from underneath you and the ruts almost completely stop you. I arrived at the 943 mile point at about 4:30AM and gave the bike back to Peter. The HP2 worked flawlessly. The motor had endless power and the suspension worked great. Spectator and pit crews were cheering the HP2 on when they heard the awsome sound of the Boxer twin at full throttle. I had so much fun riding the bike that I practically begged Peter to give me the extra section to ride. I got the honor of riding the most miles of the race - 310 miles. I could not have wished for a better motorcycle to ride. Klaus at HPN and Berti did an excellent job preparing the HP2 for Baja.

It was a wonderful opportunity to ride the HP2 and to be a part of the BMW team.


Peter Postel

I rode the HP2 from Loreto to KM12 and then KM128 to the finish. The original plan was for me to ride Loreto to the finish, however, Tony came in and said he was feeling great, so the decision was made for me to push hard through the next section to stay ahead of the Trophy trucks and he would get back on at KM12. We checked the bike over and Jack, my chase driver, said the rear tire was completely gone, but with the trucks coming it was decided to change the tire at KM12 where hopefully we would have more room. This would prove to be a good move. The amount of spectators was unbelievable even at 1am.

South of San Javier, there was allot of water left over from the hurricanes. I believe around 27 deep water crossings. Also the course was extremely rocky - riding over boulders for miles. This was an area that you had to ride the BMW slow so as not to hit the cylinders on any rocks. I passed 6 other riders in this section. Then going out to the highway, lots of single lane silt. Fortunately we were able to clear this section before being passed the Trophy truck of Robbie Gordon. He, in fact, passed us while we were changing wheels at KM12.

From KM128 to the finish started out with some big silt beds going to the ocean - some so deep the cylinder heads were dragging. This was an area of just get through and survive. After that speeds picked up, but now the sun was rising and had to ride straight into the sun. This made seeing very difficult. I had to ride for about 20 minutes holding one hand up to block the sun. Once we headed away from the Pacific, the true fun of the BMW was had. The roads are smooth and fast and you really could crank it up. Spectators went wild when the heard the sound of that boxer twin coming!

Fortunately nothing spectacular to report from me. Just a good clean ride at a good pace. The HP2 is a blast to ride! You just have to respect it and ride it accordingly. Unfortunately this year the course was a fairly technical and tough one. There just weren't that many areas where you could open it up and let it run.

I can't wait to ride it again! Truly a unique experience.


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